An Ebonyi State Magistrate’s Court has remanded a 32-year-old man, Emeke Chukwuani, in prison for allegedly raping a 23-year-old hawker in the state.
It was gathered that the victim, a 23-year-old groundnut seller, was on her way home with her younger sister at about 8pm when the suspect snatched her phone and ran into the popular Fatilami Park.
The victim chased him into the park in an apparent bid to recover her phone but was overpowered and raped by the suspect who also assaulted her sister.
Narrating her ordeal, the victim said, “I was going home with my younger sister around 8.30pm when we saw the man on the way. He wanted to talk to us, but we continued to move. He followed us, snatched my phone and ran into Fatilami Park.
“We ran after him to give me my phone. Immediately we got to the photo stand in the park, he grabbed my neck and we began to struggle. As we struggled, he bit me in my private parts, ear, cheek, shoulder and back.
“My sister was shouting, but nobody was there to help us. When my sister tried to draw him away from my body, he smashed a bottle on her head. She ran outside crying, while I was shouting inside. It was when he hit my mouth with the bottle that I became unconscious. I woke up later to see that he had raped me.
“I was surprised when I heard gunshots and two persons came inside. He tried to run away, but they apprehended him. That’s when I realised that they were police officers.”
The suspect was arrested and arraigned on Monday before the Abakaliki Magistrate’s Court on one count of unlawful sexual intercourse.
The police prosecutor, Inspector Chinedu Mbam, said the offence was punishable under Section 358 of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria 2009.
“That you, Emeka Chukwuani, on November 28, 2020, at Fatilami Park, Abakaliki, in the Abakaliki Magisterial District, did forcefully have carnal knowledge of one (name withheld), aged 23 years, without her consent, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 358 of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009,” the charge reads.
No bail application was made on the Chukwuani’s behalf as he had no legal counsel who was representing in court.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs B.I. Chukwu, ordered that he be remanded in the custodial centre, Abakaliki, while his case file should be forwarded to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, for legal advice.
The case was adjourned till December 11, 2020, for report of compliance.